Barnsley by-election – ConDem Collaboration ‘punished’ by the people

4th March 2011    

Labour won a fabulous victory in yesterday’s by-election in Barnsley.   

The Tories were beaten hopelessly into third place by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).  People who would previously have voted Tory are now it seems deserting them as many believe UKIP to be closer to Conservative values than the Tory Party has become.      The Liberals (or Lib-Dems as they like to be called), were even more utterly devastated – trailing in sixth behind even the BNP and an Independent candidate.  For both of these ‘Coalition’ partners the defeat is more humiliating even than their worst nightmares.    

With the defection to UKIP, here in Wallasey of their long serving, best known, and most prominent former New Brighton Councillor Bill Duffy, all other Wallasey Tory candidates will view with despair the prospect of their votes  haemorrhaging.      

For more on the  growing UKIP threat to Wallasey Tories log onto:  

Meanwhile, the chart below shows the shame inflicted on the Tories and their Liberal Party bedfellows by the British people yesterday.  

Tories and Liberals in Wallasey and throughout Wirral awoke this morning in dismay at their devastating defeat in Barnsley - and Labour's fabulous victory.



£9.5 million to meet the costs of redundancies?

23rd November 2010  

A secret report, in closed session at this evening’s Employment and Appointment Panel, gave details on the pay-off for 33 of Wirral Council’s senior managers.  



Cllr Steve Foulkes. Labour Group Leader.

 It is understood they will be leaving the authority by the end of December under the current terms for Early Voluntary Retirement & Severance.   An0ther 23 managers will also be leaving, next year.  

There were no details on how the authority’s services are to be restructured in order to protect services following their departure.  

Asked to comment, Cllr Steve Foulkes, Leader of the Labour Group, said:  

“This has been labelled an exempt item, so unfortunately, under the Council’s Constitution, I cannot give you any details. What I can tell you is that I was given a copy of this report only minutes before a scheduled briefing, followed by the main committee meeting, with no time to consider it at all.  This is not the first time this has happened. I can only draw one of two conclusions. Either this is a totally incompetent and shambolic administration, or there is a deliberate attempt to drive decisions through without giving councillors time to make a considered decision. We asked for a postponement to give us time to consider it properly, but were refused on the casting vote of the Liberal Democrat Chair.  

I can tell you there were no details of any restructuring proposals to show how services would be protected, despite repeated requests from us to see the evidence on which the decision had been made to accept requests for EVR.   Many ordinary staff are still waiting to hear whether their requests will be accepted or not, and I am deeply suspicious of the way this administration is behaving, with apparent favouritism for senior staff, first in awarding “fat cat” pay increases to a selected few for an interim re-structuring, and now in allowing key managers the security of knowing their requests to leave have been agreed, without any indication at all of how services will be protected.    

It seems to me that senior managers are being wrapped in cotton wool, while the rest of the staff are thrown to the wolves.”  

The following resolution, moved by Labour, was defeated by the combined Conservative and Liberal Councillors  

“This Committee is concerned that:   

  1. The requests of highly paid staff (SCP 49 and over) for voluntary redundancy are subject to democratic scrutiny by elected members but staff below this grade are not.
  2.  The Council is potentially having to borrow 
  3.  There is a lack of detailed information on proposed restructurings and the implications for services if the 33 posts in this report are deleted. Nor does Committee have any information on the implications for services of posts which will be deleted below SCP 49.
  4.  This was a late report and there has been insufficient time for the Council to consider the implications for services if these posts are deleted.  

Committee therefore believes that a decision on this item should be deferred until proper scrutiny has taken place.”  

Does this meet the standards expected for accountability and democracy?  

 HAVE YOUR SAY – please tell us what you think by logging onto our ‘comments’ feature below.  

Hunting wild animals with dogs – will the Tory-led government bring it back?

19th November 2010
Labour made fox hunting with dogs illegal, believing that most British people were convinced it was not acceptable for wild animals to be hunted in terror then torn apart, still alive, for human ‘sport’.    

Taken during the severe winter of 1963. Adrian's family, like many others, never allowed the hunt to cross their land. And they never lost a hen to the fox. The presence of their two domestic dogs kept 'Reynard' well away.

Despite some of the mythology not everyone in the countryside favours fox-hunting.  There are land owners who encourage ‘rough shooting’ to control pigeons and rabbits but say ‘Take rabbits and pigeons, but don’t shoot my foxes.’     Why not?         

Because foxes eat rats, and mice, and rabbits – which for many country people are greater enemies than the fox.             

So don’t be deceived by the argument that this is just a town -v- countryside debate; it’s not that simple. 

My tribe hates foxes – they eat rats & mice

But is the government about to see its urban voter-support melting away if this blood-sport is made legal again?   After all, it would hardly be a vote-winner in towns, would it?               

'I hate dogs - come to think of it I'm not that fussed on many Tories either.'

Will urban Tories, hoping to keep their council seats,  now feel embarrasingly obliged to differ with some of the tweed-clad Tory Toffs in their party ?    Will they do this just when bin-rummaging urban foxes are in some localities becoming more of a  pest than their country-cousins ever were?   Well, those politicians who favour blood sports can hardly encourage gallopin’ ‘orses and runnin’ ‘ounds down our high street and into our parks can they?            

They’ll just have to find  humane ways of dealing with the problem.      And setting dog packs onto wild animals to tear them apart, alive, isn’t going to win them much support around here.          

'Please don't spoil my bloodsports.' And please DON'T log onto the weblink below. 

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